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Location: Northern California, United States

Monday, September 06, 2004

Living Under an Open Heaven

Have you ever felt like the sun was shining on you like a spotlight, but when you look up it's a cloudy day? Have you ever felt that the air was soft and warm around you even when the temperature is low? Have you ever walked down a sidewalk and felt a sense of peace and goodness and sweetness and delight being directed *at* you? Have you ever felt a Fatherly kiss sent on the wings of the wind? If so, you might be living under an open heaven.
Have you ever prayed and seen immediate and startling answers? Have you ever read a familiar chapter of the Bible and suddenly seen a thousand connections to other passages? Have you ever looked at the lady ringing up your groceries and instantly know the words that will encourage her heart? If so, you're definately living under an open heaven.
Do you wish these things were true for you? They can be. We're all meant to live under that open heaven. In Revelation, John was given an invitation. "Come up here!" the voice said. I realize John was given a special backstage pass that allowed him to meet the angel band, but when I read those words something in me clicked. Verses came rushing together that I'd never put together before. An understanding began to dawn in me... We're all invited. Matter of fact, one of the greatest desires expressed by the Creator of the Universe is for His people to seek Him, to search for Him, to come in to that place where He dwells and worship Him. It still amazes me that the King of Everything longs for our company. Wow!

We can actually join in the Throne Room worship. There are angels there who are covered in eyes... all the better to see Him with. They declare His attributes and cause the elders to fall down and worship. We're so lucky! We have eyes too! We can see Him in His beauty! We can sing, "Open our eyes Lord, We want to see Jesus," or "Be Thou My Vision" and He is faithful to give us eyes to see (as well as ears to hear and hearts to understand).
We can look for Him in heaven and on earth, declare His praise and fall down in worship. The reason those angels have so many eyes? Because God is so immensely glorious and beautiful. Every moment new facets of His glory are revealed, causing them to cry "Holy!" They don't want to miss *anything*!
Psalms 27:4 says, "One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple." Likewise, Psalms 26:8 says, "Lord, I love the habitation of Your house, the place where Your glory dwells." Somehow, I don't think they were talking about the regular Sabbath service down at the temple.
So what keeps us from going there?
Do we let unresolved sin keep our eyes firmly on the ground?
Do we just not believe that we are citizens of the Kingdom?
Do we unconsciously buy into the lies of the enemy when he tells us that we have no place in the presence of God or that God is displeased with us, so we shouldn't go there?
Or is it just that we've never been told we could go there??

Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit... Peter's "shadow" healed the sick and diseased in a large radius around him...aren't we supposed to dwell in the shadow of the Almighty? One thing we have to understand...God's "shadow" isn't like yours or mine... His is brighter than a hundred suns!

I think perhaps we've found ways to close ourselves off from that intensely bright cloud of glory... we could call it "Sonblock" if we want to be clever about it. Do we erect barriers, wall ourselves off, even hide from the searchlight of heaven? Do we keep our eyes on the ground, not expecting to see an open heaven overhead? You bet we do!!!
Psalms 27:4 says, "Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!"
Sounds like good advice to me!
If you need a little help with this, don't worry! Psalms 3:3 to the rescue! "But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head."

Don't be surprised if after a little while you begin to see a new quality of light and air around you, or if colors and flavors become more intense, and everything seems sweeter somehow. Don't be astonished when springs of living water start flowing out of you, and you find that divinely inspired words of encouragement are bubbling up from the depths of your heart for everyone you meet. Those are just a few of the side effects of living under an open heaven.


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